Search Results for 'Roger Casement'

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Galway man retraces Roger Casement’s Amazon journey

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Galway City native Dr. Brendan Tobin, self described “nomadic lawyer” and human rights activist will give a talk on “Orphans of the Rubber Boom: Roger Casement’s Legacy in the Amazon” in Galway City Library, St. Augustine Street, Galway on Monday next - November 21 - at 6.30 p.m.

Public talk on Roger Casement and the Irish language

Sir Roger Casement was famous for his humanitarianism and his patriotism, but less well known, was his interest in the Irish language.

Two men of destiny meet on Tawin Island

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In his interesting biography of Eamon de Valera*, Diarmaid Ferriter reports that in December 2000 gardaí seized 24 love letters from de Valera to his young wife Sinéad, which were being advertised for auction by Mealy’s of Castlecomer. It was believed that the letters were stolen in the mid 1970s from the de Valera family home. The owners, who had bought them in England some years previously in an effort to ensure their return to Ireland, were unaware that they had been stolen.

‘Henceforth Irish is to be the language of Tawin’

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As letter writers to newspapers know, as soon as you make your point, and satisfied that it is the only salient point worth making, you can be brought back to reality smartly by a riposte! Sir Roger Casement’s letter in the Irish language newspaper An Claidheamh Soluis, in the late summer of 1904, was a hard hitting criticism of the attitude of those parents who favoured that their children learned to speak English, instead of Irish. “The general mass of the Irish speaking parents have kicked the language out of doors.” He fully supported the struggle of the people of Tawin, a small island on the east side of Galway Bay, who had withdrawn their children from the local national school because they wanted their children educated through Irish. As a result the authorities withdrew the schoolmistress, and the school, unused for years, fell into disrepair. They warned the islanders that if they wanted the school to re-open they had to pay for its repair.

Sir Roger Casement’s support for a small island in Galway Bay

Sir Roger Casement was a notable humanitarian and a British consul by profession but, ironically, an anti -Imperialist by nature. He over-stepped his diplomatic role to fiercely condemn Belgium for its brutalisation of the people of Congo*. His report, published in 1904, was however, well received by the British establishment, perhaps because it feared that little Belgium was getting too big for its boots, and too wealthy from its African ventures. Casement received a knighthood.

 

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